MISE À DAY
Five years ago, in February, Alex Harvey ended his Olympic career by winning the best Canadian result in the country's history in cross-country skiing. Since this exploit, the athlete, radiant, savors a new one, that of having succeeded in his new life.
His little dog Marshall on the heels, Alex Harvey welcomes me with arms his beautiful Simone, 10 months.
He excuses himself for a few moments to carry her to bed. We can do the interview during his afternoon sleep, explains the new dad in the hallway of the new house where he and his wife Sophie moved in May.
The couple, who are dating for 12 years and who married in June 2019, settled in Saint-Ferréol-les-Neiges, a paradise for skiers and cyclists, where Alex Harvey grew up.
Their house is is literally steps away from cross-country ski trails.
It's Saturday, the moment the former athlete suggested for the interview. As a lawyer at BCF, where he specializes in business and transactional law, his weeks are very busy.
“It's really stimulating”, he rejoices, pointing out that the work in hybrid mode allows it to better reconcile work and family.
And since you don't take out the guy's skier, the 34-year-old was returning from a morning hike, with his daughter sitting in a sled, as his parents did with his sisters and him.
This is how Alex learned to ski, at the age of three, getting out of the sled as he pleased to put on his cross-country skis. His daughter may follow in his footsteps one day, “if she likes it,” he says.
Back when he trained twice a day, six days a week, and even more so in training camp, is obviously over.
But sport, which “gave him more rigor and structure”, still has a very important place in his life. It's a visceral need.
“If we prevented him from moving, he was unbearable,” testified his father, to whom he is very close, cross-country skiing champion Pierre Harvey, in the QUB radio podcast entitled In the footsteps of a champion.
A lot of water has flowed under the bridge since the athlete retired from competition.
After his last race, where he won silver to cheers on the plains of Abraham — “A Dream Ending” —, the three-time world champion went there “from a soft landing”.
On the advice of his parents, the athlete had long been thinking about what would happen after skiing.
He studied law for ten years, through competition. He completed his bar in the months following his retirement.
Alex Harvey has been practicing as a lawyer since 2021. He was particularly inspired by close friends of his parents and by the process of negotiating his contracts, as an athlete.
He was interested in the business world and the finance.
“Then, I always liked to argue just for fun, to play devil's advocate, even if I thought the same thing, he slips all smiles . I find in this job strategies that I used in competition.
The young man has also made a point of preserving his social fabric.
“When I talk to young athletes, I also tell them to try to keep in touch with studies, not just to get a good job later, but to widen the group of friends. It keeps you grounded and eases the transition by diversifying your sources of personal satisfaction, which shouldn't just be winning races.”
In the evening, Alex Harvey went to his mother's for a family dinner.
For several years, he left the house on November 1st and did not return until March 30th.
Family Christmases hadn't existed since she was 16. He rediscovers them with happiness since the end of the pandemic.
The family has also remained at the heart of his life and he can now enjoy it much more, just as he continues to enjoy life to the fullest… but without the competition.
SOME HIGHLIGHTS OF HIS SKIING CAREER
- Quintuple medalist at the International Ski Federation (FIS) World Championships
- Has 20 cross-country World Cup podiums
- Fourth in the team sprint at the Vancouver Olympics, with his friend Devon Kershaw
- Best Olympic result in Canadian history at the PyeongChang Olympics in 2018
To the rescue of Mont-Sainte-Anne
Sorry to attend the deterioration of the facilities at Mont-Sainte-Anne, property of Resort of the Canadian Rockies, Alex Harvey got involved as administrator of the B.C. of the Friends of Mont-Sainte-Anne.
The organization with the non-profit, founded in 2020 in the wake of two accidents involving the center's equipment, is campaigning in the hope of making a difference.
“It has become an issue of safety and reputation of places. I grew up here and I have always been proud of my ski center, of my mountain, but for 15 years, with carelessness, I am no longer proud. »
He believes that RCR is not a foreign investor, contrary to what Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon has suggested, and that it is not normal “for an operator to be in no way accountable to the government, that there are accidents and we think about subsidizing it.”
Grateful to Quebecor
Alex Harvey and Pierre Karl Péladeau on roller skis, October 26, 2011.
In 2011, Alex Harvey gained popularity thanks to several good results, and Quebecor became his main sponsor.
He remembers that when the partnership was announced in the fall, Pierre Karl Péladeau , big boss of the company who is a ski lover, had accompanied him on the Promenade Samuel-De Champlain, in Quebec (photo).
They did it together roller-skiing, a “daredevil” sport, he says.
“We told him: you are sure, and he boarded his skis”, says -il.
“There was a natural interest behind this partnership which allowed me to make myself better known and to convey my story. My other sponsors also benefited from it, because as it was a large media group, it gave a lot of visibility. »